Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES—Eastern New Mexico University will offer a bachelor degree in film for the first time this fall. Called the Digital Cinema Arts (DCA) Degree, the new bachelor's degree is a cooperative effort between Eastern's Departments of Art, Music, Theatre and Dance, and Communicative Arts and Sciences.
It is believed to be the first bachelor film degree offered among New Mexico's public universities. ENMU-Roswell offers an associate degree in media arts and has developed film technician training classes. The new bachelor degree at ENMU-Portales will expand the film technician training class to the Portales campus and accept up to 16 transfer hours into the DCA program.
According to Greg Erf, professor of art, "This new degree will place equal importance on academic studies, such as general education, theory, criticism and history, along with the creative production skills necessary for the creation of narrative, animated or experimental film. Our approach is to create the total filmmaker. Students will learn everything from screen and playwriting, to pre-production, production and post-production, as well as acting."
Each student is required to take 14 professional practice hours focused on producing a short film. Freshmen and sophomores will receive credit for working as set designers, actors, editors, animators and writers on the final short films directed by juniors and seniors. "We have created a cyclical filmmaking process for students. As students go through the program they start out as crew members and finish as directors of their own films," said Erf.
Students choose at least two modules among eight as emphases. The modules include: "directing the story," "animation and media arts," "acting," "elements of theatrical design," "art and sound," "music/sound," "computer graphics, art and design," and "camera and production."
Erf says that after students graduate they will be qualified to direct, act, write, design sets, work in computer graphics, animation or special effects, sound and light, production, etc.
New Mexico governor Bill Richardson has initiated a new plan for economic development called Media Industries Strategic Project (MISP). The goal of MISP is to "create a viable, sustainable cluster of media industries."
Erf said that Eastern's new film major will fit perfectly into the MISP initiative. Plans are in the works for Eastern to build a 3,600-square-foot soundproof soundstage in its new communication building that will be capable of handing productions of professional film and television companies.
A screening room is envisioned at the renovated Yam Theatre in downtown Portales where film or television companies could watch the dailies of their project's progress when shooting productions in the region.
"We want to create a media infrastructure in New Mexico so that when our students graduate they can find jobs anywhere within the state," said Erf. "This will benefit all of New Mexico."
For more information, call Erf at 505.562.2652, or e-mail email@example.com.